Do you remember chain letters at school? I always felt rather privileged to be nominated to continue them. Sad but true. They can’t ask everyone you know? Well today’s post is part of a blog hop – which is like a modern day chain letter. Topics are set, in this case four questions, one blogger answers them and then passes the challenge to some more bloggers. I haven’t participated in any up until now because I haven’t really liked the topics. However, ‘Why do you blog?’ is probably the question I’m most frequently asked by family and friends when they find out about my blog. So I thought this blog hop was rather apt as I’ve never answered that question before on my blog. The lovely Kate from Rosehips and Rhubarb was kind enough to ‘tag’ me in her blog. Please have a wander over to her blog. She is doing a lot of the same things as our family, but over in Adelaide – cooking from her kitchen garden and being mindful in her efforts to live sustainably and eat ethically. My favourites from her blog, no surprise to those who know me, are her recipes!
So to begin my ‘Why Do I Write?’ contribution…
What am I working on?
At the moment I’m working on being more consistent in how often I post. This means setting time aside to write. Which is good, because this is ‘me’ time. I enjoy writing and reflecting on things. I think it is too easy for me to just clean something first, or just put another load of washing on. Before I know it, the week is over and I haven’t done anything for ‘me’. Blogging is for me. So I guess I’m also working on putting me first sometimes!
How does my writing differ from others in my genre?
I often get put in the ‘mummy blog’ category but I’d like to think my blog is broader than that. My background in psychology and education, can definitely be seen in many of my posts – be it through my topic choice, the background research I do, or what has formed my opinion. So I’d like to think my blogs have the perspective of more than just me being a mum, but also from my career and studies as well. Also, as we are from the city but have chosen to live in the country, I’d like to think of my blog as more of a lifestyle blog. However, when you read lifestyle blogs they tend to be trendy and about fashion and interior decorating. The only thing fashionable about me at the moment are the places I go to eat! Perhaps I could be considered a lifestyle blog for real parents who want a touch of country living?? Instead of attending fashion launches I can tell you which cafes have high chairs. Instead of showing you pictures of the latest home interiors, I can give you tips on how to get your two year old to create something vaguely artistic that maybe wouldn’t be so bad to put up on your wall. But I’ll give you the real version of how it’s done, complete with the step-by-step guide to which part of the project is likely to have the biggest tantrum and how to overcome them. I’d throw in pictures of my children having said tantrums but my husband is concerned it might hinder their employment opportunities when they get older – the whole, once it’s out on the Internet it always there scenario.
Why do I write?
Rebellion: Initially I began my blog in response to all those ‘yummy mummy’ blogs where life with children was portrayed so perfectly. Like life was out of the Stepford Wife movie. I had a very easy introduction into motherhood with my first child. She was a very easy baby who slept through the night from eight weeks (don’t worry my second still isn’t sleeping through the night at one year, so I haven’t been spoilt twice). Being a teacher had allowed me an insight into parenthood before I became a mum, so I knew how good I had it with my first child. But from meeting lots of new mums with my first child, I could see many mums had bought into the whole idea of the yummy mummy and I wanted to let them know that was the exception not the rule. But now it’s grown into so much more than that initial rebellion.
Use it or Lose It: I know from my forays into neuropsychology, that if I don’t ‘use it’, those neural pathways will weaken and become quite rusty. So for me, writing allows me to continually use vocabulary that I don’t use with my children. Not to mention in order to write I need to think, mull over then construct my own ideas. I like to keep my brain active.
Connecting: The blogging community is a wonderful community to be a part of. Especially now we’ve moved away from all our tangible connections, it is wonderful to be a part of an online community. But also outside of my immediate blogging community, there is a whole world of people who I connect with through my blog and via my various social media accounts linked to my blog. It’s wonderful when I receive emails and messages about things I’ve written, or when other people who read my blog just want to share their stories with me. I love it!
It’s a Great Excuse: Ever needed a reason to go to the theatre? Eat at that new restaurant which has opened up? Since I blog about everything related to my life – I can usually justify most things I want to do as ‘research’ for my blog. In my mind, my blog justifies these adventures… my husband sometimes needs a little more convincing!
How does my writing process work?
Honestly, I’m lucky anything ever gets published. I like to stew on things. I like to research what goes into my posts, whether it be gleaning some facts about where we’ve visited or something more in depth for a factual post. Those two ensure that my posts often take forever to write. I always think I should do more research, add one more interesting fact, think about if I’ve communicated my point of view effectively enough… Not that you’d know from reading them!
Essentially most of my posts start as an idea, which usually comes while I’m trying to re-settle my son, often around 4am. So I jot it down with one hand on my phone and email it to myself, while I rock/pat him with the other. If I remember, I pick up on it the next day, or a few days/weeks later, developing it while I feed and entertain my children. I might leave it a few days while I think about it. Then after I put them to bed, usually while watching trashy tv, I try to ensure my post makes sense before publishing it. But I have many, many post that lie half-written, waiting to be published.
Now to introduce two of my very dear blogging friends!
Sophia writes a lovely blog about family and travel called Xpatriate Games. You might remember her from my truffle hunt. I particularly love her posts about the time her family spent living in Washington. Although she still gets up to plenty of fun now she’s back in Australia. Most recently she and her daughter ate bugs as a part of the Creepy Crawly Culinary Class at the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville.
Michelle blogs about all the fun things you can do in Canberra, with an emphasis on keeping within a budget. Her blog also has tips on saving money, which is always handy if you plan to go galavanting across Europe next year, as she will be! What I love about Michelle’s blog, Dory the Explorer, is her chatty style and amazing photographs. Her posts are like chatting with a good friend. Michelle’s photographs capture the sorts of things you and I would photograph, except she makes the boring and ordinary, interesting. She isn’t a professional photographer either. Which is probably why I’m drawn to her, because sometimes I think if I put a little more time and thought it into my photos, maybe I could produce photographs like hers. Hmm, maybe…
If you’d like to read other ‘Why Do I Write?’ blog posts, and maybe discover some new blogs to follow, check out the originator of this blog hop as Josefa has kindly linked all the other blog posts as well.